Effort to stop Interstate 73 to Myrtle Beach clears hurdle in federal court | Myrtle Beach Sun News

myrtlebeachonline | 1/31/2019 | Staff
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A proposed interstate into Myrtle Beach might be further delayed after a judge rejected most efforts to dismiss a lawsuit that raises concerns with the roads’ environmental impacts.

It’s another chapter in the longstanding effort to bring Interstate 73 to the Grand Strand.

Interstate - Michigan - Myrtle - Beach - Miles

The proposed Interstate 73 would run from Michigan to Myrtle Beach with about 75 miles of highway in South Carolina. Officials have long discussed the need for the route to help ease congestion and to serve as an alternative hurricane evacuation route.

Late in 2017, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal Department of Transportation and several officials over the proposed highway.

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The conservation league said the I-73 project would cost $3.8 billion and destroy hundreds of acres of freshwater wetlands, according to court records.

Suit - Officials - Responsibilities - Aspects - Project

The suit argued federal officials violated their responsibilities in several aspects of the project, including approving permits under the Clean Water Act.

South Carolina’s Coastal Conservation League also questioned the federal agencies’ reliance on a 10-year-old environmental study and “reevaluations” instead of undertaking a supplemental study.

Alternatives - Highway - Conservation - Group

There are cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives to the proposed highway, the conservation group stated.

U.S. and state officials sought to dismiss the lawsuit, but a federal judge based in South Carolina rejected most of those requests in an order filed this week.

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